Objectives: There are growing concerns that social isolation presents risks to older people's health and well-being. Thus, the objective of the review was to explore how technology is currently being utilised to combat social isolation and increase social participation, hence improving social outcomes for older people.
Methods: A systematic review of the literature was conducted across the social science and human-computer interaction databases.
Results: A total of 36 papers met the inclusion criteria and were analysed using a four-step process. Findings were threefold, suggesting that: (i) technologies principally utilised social network services and touch-screen technologies; (ii) social outcomes are often ill-defined or not defined at all; and (iii) methodologies used to evaluate interventions were often limited and small-scale.
Conclusion: Results suggest a need for studies that examine new and innovative forms of technology, evaluated with rigorous methodologies, and drawing on clear definitions about how these technologies address social isolation/participation.
Keywords: social isolation; social participation; technology.
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